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Humidify A Room With A Bowl Of Water

Can You Humidify A Room With A Bowl Of Water & How To Do It? 

Sometimes, having a humidifier at home is not an option for you, but the dry air is wreaking havoc, and you have to take action. Many people may be wondering if they can humidify a room with a bowl of water since it seems very easy to set it up.

Yes, you can humidify a room with a bowl of water even though the effectiveness is much lower than using a humidifier. Your room can be humidified faster by placing it near a heating source.

By reading this post, you will understand why a bowl of water can humidify a room and how to use a bowl of water as a humidifier. There are a lot of interesting facts for you to explore, and let’s dive in!

Why can you use a bowl of water as a humidifier?

As I mentioned initially, you can humidify a room with a bowl of water.

Given that the power of many humidifiers lies in the evaporation of water, a bowl of water will work since the evaporation will also happen in it. The water in the bowl will decrease with time, and that proportion of water has become the added moisture in the air.

However, different from evaporative humidifiers that take advantage of a fan and warm mist humidifiers that use heating elements, a bowl of water turns to water vapor naturally. It means that you can’t expect it will be as effective as a humidifier. 

But there are some methods that can help with it. (More on that later)

Which type of bowl is the best for humidifying a room?

shallow bowl

Not every bowl is equal when it comes to humidifying your room. You should choose a bowl that is shallow and has a large surface. This makes more water can contact with the air and turn to water vapor easier. 

If you use a deep bowl, the water in the bottom will take longer to evaporate. 

How many bowls do I need to humidify a room with water?

It is hard to decide how many bowls you need, but a general rule of thumb is that the larger the room, the more bowls of water you have to add to. 

Suppose the bowl size is about 250 mm in diameter and 60 mm in-depth. You may need two bowls of water in every standard bedroom. 

The original humidity level and the room temperature also play roles in deciding how many bowls you need. 

But as the evaporation speed is so slow that they are challenging to make your room over humidified so you can put more water if you feel the air is too dry

How to speed up the evaporation process while using a bowl of water as a humidifier?

Normally, a humidifier will take a few hours or even up to 24 hours to work. As a less efficient way of humidification, it will take much longer for a bowl of water to work. 

No one wants to wait for days to humidify a room, so you have to take some extra steps if possible.

Put it next to a heating source

A high temperature can speed up evaporation significantly. The winter months are usually dry, and the heating system sucks up the moisture in the air further. That’s the typical situation people think about humidifying their rooms. 

You can use the heating source to heat the water in the bowl by putting the bowl of water either near a heating vent or on a radiator as a radiator humidifier. When the water temperature goes up, the moisture will enter the air quicker.

Place it on the windowsill

This method is similar to the way above. When the water in the bowl is exposed to the sunshine, the water temperature increases, making the humidification process speed up.

Use it with a fan together 

A fan can help disperse water particles in the air evenly to every corner of the room. It also works by reducing the concentrated area created by water vapor around the bowl so that the evaporation process can proceed smoothly.

Use it with a bottle and a soft cloth

This method works by increasing the surface of evaporation. Put a bottle in the center of the bowl and then cover it with a soft cloth. 

The cloth will draw the water up and add more surface, fostering evaporation.

Don’t add salty water to a bowl

Salty water has many uses, and that’s why many people will think about adding some salt into the water to humidify the room. 

Don’t do it. Rather than boosting the evaporation, the salt can decrease the rate of evaporation by reducing the saturation vapor pressure. 

In addition, while most of the salt will be left in the bowl, the tiny amount of salt expelled in the air can ruin the items nearby. 

So please save the salt for cooking and don’t add it to the water in the bowl. 

Other ways to humidify a room naturally

hand wet cloth in the room

Except for using a bowl of water only, you can combine other humidifying methods to achieve a better result. 

For example, you can hang the wet clothes in the room or boil the water in the oven in the kitchen. Moving some houseplants into the room will also work. Even taking a shower with the door open is an option.


Using a bowl of water is the traditional way to humidify a room, but it works at a slow pace. If you are suffering from itchy skin, sore throat, or nasal congestion, you shouldn’t expect it can relieve these conditions very soon. 

To improve its efficiency, you can choose to use shallow and large bowls or plates, put them near a heating source or window, or turn on a fan. 

However, I still suggest you get a humidifier if you have a bit of extra money. It can save you so much effort in the long run.

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested more than 150 products in person, including humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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